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BILTMORE FOREST 



THE PROPERTY OF 

MR. GEORGE W. VANDERBILT 



AN ACCOUNT OF ITS TREATMENT, AND THE RESULTS OF THE FIRST YEAR'S WORK 

Bv GIF FORD PIXCHOT 

CONSULTING FORESTER 



CHICAGO, 1893 



€i)t ILaKrsttie prrss 

R. R. DONNELLEY & SONS CO., CHICAGO 





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INTRODUCTORY. 

The attempt to treat Biltmore Forest systematically derives a certain interest from the 
fact that it is the first practical application of forest management in the United States. The 
following pages contain a description of the Forest when work upon it was begun, and of 
the operations carried out during the first year of management. The result of this first 
year's work is stated both as regards the Forest itself and the returns and expenses in 
money. The outline of the working plan is added, and a word is said as to the experi- 
ments in forest planting and arboriculture which have been begun. Finally, the possible 
value of the work is briefly noted. 



BILTMORE FOREST. 



i. 

Biltmore Estate lies in the western part of North Carolina, on the right 
Biltmore Estate, and left banks of the French Broad River, along which it stretches for a dis- 
tance of six miles. Through the northeast corner runs the Swannanoa River, 
a smaller stream, just before its junction with the French Broad. The Estate is in lati- 
tude 35 c 33' North, longitude 82 ° $3' West. Its northern end, which is cut by the 
Richmond & Danville Railroad, lies two miles south of the citv of Asheville. Bilt- 
more village, on the left bank of the Swannanoa, where the Spartanburg Railroad joins 
the Western Carolina division of the Richmond & Danville, is included in the Estate. 
Biltmore lies on the great continental table -land, the highest east of the Mississippi, 
which stretches between the Blue Ridi^e and the Alleirhanv Mountains. It consists chieflv 
of broken, hilly land, fairly well watered, alternating with the broad alluvial bottoms of 

7 



the two rivers. The summits of the hills, which reach an average altitude of about 2,300 
feet, mark the approximate height of the Asheville base -level, from which, through ero- 
sion, the present outline of the surface was derived. The total area is 7,282 acres, or 
rather more than eleven square miles. 

A little more than one -half of the whole surface of the estate, or 3,891 
>re Forest, acres, is woodland, and constitutes Biltmore Forest. It is composed in greater 

part of Oaks and other deciduous trees, chiefly in the younger stages of their 
growth, with Pines scattered among the broad -leaved trees, and here and there pure 
patches of them in the old fields. In addition to the broken and very irregular character 
of the Forest, which results from its former sub -division among small farmers, it is inter- 
rupted — from the same cause — by frequent clearings, many of which are on the tops and 
shoulders of the hills, while the river bottoms are almost entirely under cultivation. The 
changing slopes, the many kinds of trees, and the great variety in its density, size and 
condition, are marked features of the Forest. It derives an additional interest from the 
fact that it is the first piece of woodland in the United States to be subjected to a 
regular system of management, the prime object of which is to pay the owner while im- 
proving the forest. 

The rock, from the weathering of which the larger part of the soil at Biltmore 
>M» has been produced, is a very ancient gneiss with a considerable intermixture 

of pegmatitic quartz. The softness of the gneiss, which disintegrates easily to a 

8 



considerable depth, accounts for the rounded contour of the slopes, while the ridges are 
marked by the presence of the more resisting quartz. The soil which results from the 
decomposition of these two rocks is a rather stiff sandy loam, not rich, and, in spite of its 
depth, not very favorable to the growth of trees. In the river bottoms, where the soil 
is sedimentary, it is in some places very rich ; in others composed almost entirely 
of quartz sand. 

The meteorological records for Biltmore are available for the present purpose 
The Climate. only from January i, 1891, to December 31, 1892. These observations 

cover too little time to be of much use as a basis of description for the climate. 
But records have been kept at Asheville since 1857, and the following summary is founded 
upon the two series. The climate is an exceptionally temperate one. Great heat and 
great cold are alike rare, and the daily range of temperature is comparatively small. The 
moderate rainfall, which amounts annually to about 43 inches, is very evenly distributed 
throughout the year. During the winter the relative humidity is occasionally high, but 
this is generally not the case at other seasons. The observations at Biltmore for the two 
years show a maximum temperature of 99 ° in July, and a minimum of 6° in December. 
It should be said chat during the last winter a minimum of — 9 was reached in January. 
The greatest daily range in temperature varied between 30.7 °, in July, and 41.5 °, in 
March and October. The relative humidity, taken by monthly averages, was least in May 
(54.91%), and greatest in January (76.01%). The following table gives further details: 

9 





Jen. 


Feb 


Mar. 


Apl. 


M. y 


June 


July 


Aug. 


Sept 


Oct. 


Nov 


Dec. 


n monthly tain [all (in inches] 

ti relalive humidity (per cent) 

irntim daily ranye (flogs. F) 

Lmum daily range fdegS. F) 

imum daily temp, idea's. K) 

imum daily temp. (dcys. F) , 

n monthlv temp, (dey.s. K) 


5-90 
76.0 
3°-5 

6-3 
65.0 

8.0 
36-7 


1.83 

37-5 
9-3 

13.0 
44-5 


3.56 
72-3 
41-5 
5.3 
76.0 
15.0 
43-8 


5.35 
56-3 
41.0 
8.0 
87.0 
22.0 
55.9 


3-34 
54-9 
41. r 
■0.3 
89.0 
29.0 


5-98 

37-7 
13.0 
96.0 
47.0 
71.1 


4-77 
64.4 
30-7 
7.5 
09-0 
47-0 
71.4 


62.7 
32-5 

gb'.o 
51.0 

72.0 


3-34 
61.4 
36-3 
7-0 
91-5 
36-0 
65.1 


0.42 
59-3 
41-5 
10.5 
86.0 

54.2 


3-30 
7'-3 

35-.* 
9.8 

To 
III 


2.06 
72.9 
37-o 

7.2 
67.0 

6.0 



'he above figures are based upon the readings of four different stations at Biltniore 
ipped with self-registering minimum and maximum thermometers and Mason hygronie- 
■, the observations from all of which have been taken once daily. The rainfall has been 
en from the readings of but one gauge. 

It has alreadv been said that Biltmore Forest is composed for the most part 

of of deciduous trees. Of these the White Oak is in all respects first. Second 

to it numerically, but of inferior quality, are the Black, the Scarlet, and the 

Spanish Oaks, in the order named. These are followed by the Short - leaf Pine 

1 the Chestnut, and these again by the Hickory, Chestnut Oak, Black Gum, Maple, and 

lip Tree. 



The distribution of some of the species both in number and location has 
Their Distribution been much disturbed by human agency. Not only has the Pine (thanks to its 
Affected by Man. winged seed) taken possession of much cleared land once occupied by the 

deciduous forest, but the same quality has enabled it to establish its seedlings 
in great numbers wherever, throughout the forest, the former occupants have been so 
reduced by the axe, fire, or cattle, as to leave open spaces on the ground. Black Walnut 
has nearly disappeared as a forest tree, while the Black Locust and Sassafras have greatly 
increased in consequence of the favorable conditions presented by the numerous old fields. 

Biltmore lies near the centre distribution of the forest flora of eastern North 
The Forest America, and the number of its native trees is consequently very large. From 

Climate. its position it also follows that the climate is suited to the growth of a very 

large number of trees and shrubs, a fact of much interest in view of the 
extensive arboretum which has been begun. 

List of the Trees ^ ^ e f°H° w i n £ ls a ^ st °f tne species found growing naturally on the 

Estate: 

Magnolia acuminata, L. Cucumber Tree. Ilex opaca, Ait. Holly. 

LiriodendronTulipifera, L. Tulip Tree. Yellow Poplar. /Esculus octandra, Marsh. Sweet Buckeye. 

Asimina triloba, Dunal. Papaw. Acer barbatum, Michx. Sugar Maple. 

Tilia Americana, L. Basswood. Lin. Acer barbatum var. nigrum, 

Tilia heterophylla, Vent. White Basswood. Lin. Sarg. Black Maple. 

1 1 



:charinum, L. 

aim, L. 
gundo, L. 
phina, L. 
;rnix, L. 

Pseudacacia, L. 
a triacanthos, L. 
Americana, Marsh. 
Pennsylvanica, L. f. 
serotina, Ehrh. 
3ronaria, L. 
us coccinea, L. 
us tomentosa, L. 
us flava, Ait. 
chier Canadensis, 
rr. & Gray, 
telis Virginica, L. 
florida, L. 
ylvatica, Marsh, 
im prunifolium, L. 
drum arboreum,DC 
latifolia, L. 
endron maximum,!. 



Soft Maple. 
Red Maple. 
Box Elder. 
Staghorn Sumach. 
Poison Sumach. 
Black Locust. 
Honey Locust. 
Wild Plum. 
Wild Red Cherry. 
Wild Black Cherry. 
Crab Apple. 
Scarlet Haw. 
Haw. 
Summer Haw. 

Shad-bush. Service Berry. 

Witch-hazel. 

Flowering Dogwood. 

Black Gum. Pepperidge. 

Stag-bush. 
. Sour-wood. 

Laurel. Ivy. 
.. Rhododendron. Great 

Laurel 



Diospyros Virginiana, L. 
Halesia tetraptera, L. 
Fraxinus Americana, L. 
Chionanthus Virginica, L. 
Sassafras, Sassafras Luda. 
Ulmus fulva, Michx. 
Celtis occidentalis, L. 
Morus rubra, L. 
Platanus occidentalis, L. 
Juglans nigra, L. 
Hicoria ovata, Britt. 
Hicoria alba, Britt. 
Hicoria glabra, Britt. 
Hicoria minima, Britt. 
Quercus alba, L. 
Quercus minor, Sarg. 
Quercus Prinus, L. 
Quercus rubra, L. 
Quercus coccinea, Wang. 
Quercus tinctoria, Bartram. 
Quercus cuneata, Wang. 
Quercus aquatica, Walt. 
Quercus imbricaria, Michx. 
Castanea pumila, Mill. 



Persimmon. 

Rattle-box. Silver-bell Tree. 

White Ash. 

Fringe Tree. 

Sassafras. 

Red Elm. Slippery Elm. 

Hackberry. 

Red Mulberry. 

Sycamore. 

Black Walnut. 

Shellbark Hickory. 

Big-bud Hickory. 

Pig-nut. 

Bitter-nut. White Hickory. 

White Oak. 

Post Oak. 

Chestnut Oak. 

Red Oak. 

Scarlet Oak. 

Black Oak. 

Spanish Oak. 

Water Oak. 

Shingle Oak. 

Chinquapin. 



12 



Castanea sativa var, Am- 
ericana, Sarg. Chestnut. 
Fagus ferruginea, Ait. Beech. 
Carpinus Caroliniana,Walt. Hornbeam. 



Iron-wood. 



Betula nigra, L. 
Betula lenta, L. 
Alnus serrulata, Willd. 
Salix nigra, Marsh. 
Populus grandidentata, 
Michx. 



River Birch. 
Black Birch. 
Black Alder. 
Black Willow. 

Poplar. 



Populus balsamifera, L. 
Populus monilifera, Ait. 

Juniperus Virginiana, L. 
Pinus Strobus, 1.. 
Pinus rigida, Mill. 
Pinus Virginiana, Mill. 
Pinus pungens, Michx. f. 
Pinus echinata, Mill. 
Tsuga Canadensis, Carr. 



Balsam. Balm of Gilead. 
Cottonwood. Carolina 

Poplar. 
Red Cedar. 
White Pine. 
Pitch Pine. 

Jersey Pine. Scrub Pine. 
Table-mountain Pine. 
Short-leaf Pine. 
Hemlock. 



13 



II. 

Previous to the time of purchase by Mr. George W. Vanderbilt, the area 

now included in Biltmore Estate was held by a number of small farmers. 

't. These people, poor as the mountain farmer is apt to be, were obliged to use 

without reserve all the resources of their scantily productive lands. They 

ire therefore in the habit of cutting all trees which could be used or sold as fuel, fencing, 

saw -logs. They turned their cattle into the forest, and often burned over their wood- 

nds for the sake of the pasturage. A large part of the supply of fire -wood for Asheville 

rmerly came from land now included in the Estate. Under such treatment the forest, orig- 

ally of moderate quality, grew steadily worse. The more valuable species of trees were 

moved, and the less valuable ones remained to seed the ground and perpetuate their kind. 

le fertility of the soil was destroyed by fire, while the young trees which grew up plentifully 

many places were cut back year after year by the browsing of cattle. At the time when 

rest management was begun on the Estate the condition of a large part of the forest was 

plorable in the extreme. 

14 



The effect of this ill-treatment was necessarily marked. At Biltmore, as in any 
Its Effect. virgin forest, the different age-classes of the trees tended to distribute themselves in 

such a way that they were all present in all parts of the forest. This is the dis- 
tinctive character of the so-called Selection Forest. When the removal of the best trees was 
begun, long before the present ownership, the effect was to produce two types of forest quite 
distinct from each other, but connected by a great variety of intermediate forms. In the first 
case (thanks to the increased light which came in where the old trees had stood) the young 
trees of the undergrowth sprang into vigorous life, and the remaining old trees bore more 
abundant seed, which germinated and furnished a still younger class. The result was then an 
imperfect Selection Forest, with the older classes of trees weak in the number of specimens, 
and with many of the younger classes in the series wanting altogether. In the second case 
the controlling influence was fire, which often followed a method of cutting that left a large 
part of the lighter and more inflammable portions of the tree on the ground. Most fre- 
quently the fire was fatal to the younger growth, while the old trees, protected by their 
thicker bark, escaped. The increased light which then reached the ground gave rise to 
another crop, either of seedlings or sprouts, which was approximately of even age. 

The present condition of the forest then follows under these two general heads: 
Present Condition, (i) Where all ages are more or less completely present in all parts, and (2) where 

there is but one distinctly predominant age -class. It occasionally happens that 
this age -class is composed of the larger trees; but in the great majority of cases saplings 

17 



d low poles form the principal crop. Over these the remaining old trees spread their 
dening crowns. 

That portion of the forest which resembles the Selection Forest must be treated 

lent as such, and need not be discussed here. It is evident that in the other part 

immediate action was required. The old spreading trees were seriously injuring 

the young growth below them, and it was impossible to found a system of man- 

ement on the lives of the older specimens, which, in very many cases, were already 

rishing. It became necessary, therefore, to institute a series of improvement cuttings 

lich should remove these older trees, and prepare the way for a working plan under the 

egular High Forest System, the characteristic of which is that the trees of the same age are 

ouped together, so that there are (theoretically) as many separate groups as there are years 

the age of the oldest trees. 

Two limitations imposed themselves at once. No older trees could be cut 
litations. where the young crop was very far from being dense enough to protect the soil, 
and no cuttings could be made which would cost more than the value of the 
•oduct. The term of six years was tentatively set for carrying out these cuttings and the 
auguration of the working plan. It was almost impossible to set a shorter period, for the 
ason that in many cases all the old trees could not be cut at once, on account of damage 
the future crop ; and for the same reason not less than five years must intervene between 
e first and second cuttings on the same ground. 

18 




IMI'KOVKMF.NT a'mW, VTOMW - 



Beside the. improvement cuttings, which were of themselves fitted to produce a 
Other Needed more valuable mixture of species as well as a healthier and more uniform forest, 

Measures. there were a few things which must be seen to at once. First, cattle must be 

excluded from the forest, since the harm they do in browsing and breaking the 
younf trees is very serious. Second, fire must also be kept out, for the presence of these 
two destructive agencies may be fatal to the future of any piece of forest. Fire had already 
done great injury to the quality of the forest floor by consuming the waste and the dead 
leav6, and destroying, in conjunction with too much light and air, that all -important factor, 
the vegetable mould. Third, on large parts of the area, where the crop was not dense 
enoigh, but was too old to allow planted trees to compete successfully with those already 
on the ground, the forest must be allowed absolute rest. The present crop will occupy 
the ground more fully as it grows older. 

The preliminary study of the Forest, from which the facts just cited were 

Study an^ derived, was greatly assisted by the lines which an extensive topographical 

Descripti0 of survey had already run over the estate. These lines divided the area into 

the Forei. squares of five hundred feet. It was found convenient to adopt these sections, 

| as they were called, as the units of description, although it was not possible 

apays to follow the boundaries thus laid down. The description of sections, each of 

vjich regularly contains about 5.7 acres, is illustrated by the following example: Section 

i>. 180, area 5.7 acres, is 2,130 to 2,230 feet above sea level. The section includes a 

; 21 

i 

1 . 

' i 



Ige and its northeast and southwest slopes, each with an inclination of 20 <f c . The soil 
loam, the rock gneiss, the forest floor good. There are altogether upon the ground 0:7 
the nutnbeT of trees which should normally be there. These are White, Scar*t and 
st Oaks, Hickory and Chestnut, which together form 0.6, and Short-leaf and Pitch. Pine, 



jether 0.1. The locality is of second quality, and the forest standing 
broken and irregular Selection Forest, with patches of fairly regular : 
le prevailing age -class is saplings, the prevailing species White Oak 
;nts are that those standards or old trees which are not needed for : 
wn. Of these it is estimated that there are available for felling eno 
100 feet, board measure, of lumber per acre. 

Each description was written by means of abbreviations 
Cata- size of the old postal-card (3 X 5 inches) ; and the whole ser 

600 in number, was arranged in the form 

a very complete and convenient descriptio 



upon it restinbles 
iplings and poles. 
and the rejuire- 
eed should hj cut 
gh to yield bout 

on a card of the 
es, something >ver 
card catalogue, and fumi-ied 
he details of the forest. > 




Hll.TMtlRK. t'lWfiSC. 
HKHIUK \\ \mvuu\v\\y%V v> 



III. 



Locating the 
Improvement 
Cuttings: First 
Series. 



In deciding where to begin the improvement cuttings several considerations 
were kept in view. First, the present roads are faulty in location, grade and 
construction, and in wet weather are exceedingly heavy. Later on they will 
be replaced by a road system rightly planned and constructed. The distances 
for hauling were, therefore, to be made as short as possible. Second, the cost of 
transportation must be equalized from year to year. Third, the points most in 
need of improvement cuttings must be taken up first. Fourth, these three prime factors 
must be modified to some extent by the necessity of doing the work as economically as 
possible during the first year, when expenses would necessarily be higher than after a wider 
experience with special local conditions had indicated cheaper methods. Work was begun at 
a point near Biltmore where the old trees were sufficiently numerous and the younger growth 
vigorous enough to allow profitable cutting. The quality of the old trees and the location 
made it impossible to produce anything but cord- wood, for which the Brick- works at Biltmore 
gave a steady and profitable market. 

25 



The second series of improvement cuttings was begun on the Arrow-head 
ies. Peninsula, almost at the opposite end of the Estate, where the quality and 
quantity of old trees to be removed made it possible to undertake lumbering with 
e chance of profit. The separation of the cutting areas by nearly the whole length of the 
.te served both to equalize the cost of transportation and to make use of the saw-mill 
idy set up without incurring the expense of a removal. Cord-wood also was manufac- 
d in view of the probable establishment of a plant for the distillation of wood-alcohol, 
which purpose wood may remain piled up in the forest for two years without injury, 
o improvement cuttings will be made west of the French Broad, because the special 
:ment adopted for that part of the Forest, to be described hereafter, does not require 
i before going into effect. 

The detail of the improvement cuttings for cord-wood near Biltmore was as 

follows: The trees which were to fall were first carefully marked. Great care 

was used not to cut too heavily at first. There was no standard of comparison in 

country, and the thinness of the Forest and the uncertain amount of harm which might 

one by the falling trees rendered it necessary to proceed with the utmost caution. After 

the selection of the trees to fall they were notched with an axe, under the direc- 

*d- tion of the foreman, and thrown by the sawyers in the place he had selected. 

An occasional tree was felled by the axe, but this was the exception. Each tree 

was then sawed into the proper lengths for cord-wood, and the sawyers went on to 

26 



the next, leaving the splitting by wedge and mallet to another gang, as well as the cleaning 
up of the tops and their reduction to cord-wood and unsalable piles of twigs. The wood was 
next piled and measured, and hauled by mule teams to a side track on the private railroad 
which connects Biltmore village with the site of Biltmore House, and there loaded on a car 
and shipped to the Brick-works. 

The lumbering was less simple. It was necessary to look out and build roads 
Lumbering. from the saw-mill to the roll-ways, and a road gang must be employed to keep 

these roads roughly in order. After the falling of the trees by the sawyers, and 
when the better part of the trunks had been cut into logs and the less valuable portions into 
shingle-bolts, logs and bolts were skidded by mules to the roll-ways, from which they were 
transferred to the wagons, and thence to the roll-ways again at the mill. It was found 
advantageous to make use of the dray or go-devil in the skidding. The mill was a small 
portable circular, with a 52-inch saw, run by a 20 horse-power portable engine. Its product, 
considering the quality of the logs and the mill, was excellent. The lumber was transferred 
directly from the saw to the lumber yard, where it was stacked in piles until called for. After 
the available logs about the first location of the mill had been sawed up the engine was used 
to run a shingle-mill, and when all the bolts had been disposed of the whole plant was 
removed to another site which had been prepared for it on the opposite side of the Arrow- 
head Peninsula, where the same process was again gone through with. 

29 



The lumber produced was oak, pine and poplar. Shingles of pine and poplar 
d were cut from slabs and defective logs, as well as from shingle-bolts, so that the 

waste, always very large on a portable circular mill, was reduced as far as 
possible. 

After the completion of the lumbering, the gangs were set at work cutting cord- 

I from wood from those parts of the trees which were left on the ground. This was done 

chiefly in anticipation of the wood-alcohol plant. The Arrow-head Peninsula is 

too far from Biltmore to furnish a supply of cord-wood for the Brick- works, with 

present roads and consequent cost of transportation. 



jo 



IV. 

The question of intelligent supervision in the case of a forest such as Bilt- 
Personnel. more is at the present day an exceedingly difficult one. Under our actual 

economic conditions the ability to produce favorable money results, while 
improving the forest, stands paramount. In other words, forester and lumberman must be 
combined. Either alone may be easily found ; the two united in one man I have yet to 
discover. The plan which I adopted under the circumstances was to select a lumberman 
young enough to be willing to learn, old enough to have had practical experience in 
handling men and lumber on a large scale, and of sufficient foresight and enterprise to 
appreciate the possibilities of forestry, and to be willing to adopt it as his profession. Such a 
man I found in my assistant at Biltmore, Mr. C. L. Whitney, of Malone, in the Adirondack 
region of New York. During the preliminary examination and description of the forest 
Mr. Whitney was constantly with me ; and the training which I was able to give him, com- 
bined with his previous acquaintance with the woods was sufficient to enable him to execute 
the comparatively simple improvement cuttings with safety and success. His own experience 

3i 



n lumbering, on the other hand, enabled him to carry out the practical details of the 
>perations in an economical and workmanlike manner. 

Under the supervision of the assistant forester a very small crew was at first 
; the set to work cutting cord - wood. These men were very carefully watched, and 

sn. were gradually taught to spare and protect the young growth. From this nucleus 

foremen were gradually found to take charge of other crews as the work increased, 
nd carry the principles in which they had been drilled into wider effect. It was found 
ecessary to enlarge the force very slowly, for the idea of any care for the next crop was 
3tally new to the men, and was slowly grasped in its full meaning. Hence arises the neces- 
ity for giving steady employment to at least a portion of the force, for the work of 
istruction is too cumbersome to be gone through with year by year. 



32 











|i^-»!' *j- 


. 




, 




. 








' 





I'MdUi: RIRKS 



V. 

The pecuniary results of this first year have not been unsatisfactory. In judg- 
Economic Position jng f them several considerations must be kept in mind. In the first place, the 
of Biltmore economic situation of Biltmore Forest is not a fortunate one. Its output, neces- 

Forest. sarily of no high grade, comes into direct competition with the low-class products 

of the enormous area of timber-land which surrounds it. Fire -wood in this 
region is of very little value beyond the cost of cutting and transportation, and a large pro- 
portion of the product of Biltmore Forest must be fire -wood for many years to come. The 
price of the output of lumber also is influenced by the large quantity of lumber of inferior 
grade which mills in this region are not able to ship any distance to market. Especially must 
it be kept in mind that the output of the forest is sold at market prices in open competition. 
Biltmore Forest furnishes cord -wood to the Brick -works, ties to the Railroad, posts to the 
Agricultural Department, and lumber for different uses on the Estate, simply because it does 
so at prices which make it worth while for these departments to purchase of the Forest rather 
than elsewhere. 

37 



•d should also be said as to the cost of such superintendence as has 
been described. For an area of less than 4,000 acres it is manifestly 
Further, a considerable amount of the time of the assistant forester 
pied with his personal training, and the working plan, the cost of which, 
vill extend over many years, might not unfairly have been left in large 
ccounts. The salary of the consulting forester, on the other hand, has 
•ecause by far the larger part of it is chargeable to the working plan and 
atters, and to preparing for the Columbian Exposition an exhibit of which 
art. To make the present statement valuable as an example to which 
n forestry may be referred, the cost of superintendence might better be 
% of the whole expense. The amount of attention given to the descrip- 
ind Chicago exhibit, as well as to the general care of Biltmore Forest on 
:ter as a country seat, would have sufficed for an area at least ten times as 
r forest management. 

1 other hand, it should be said that the Forest was fortunate in finding a 
irket for its cord -wood, without which it would have been necessary to 
a wood -yard in Asheville, or a plant for the production of wood -alcohol. 
1 either case would, in all probability, have been equally good ; but, as 
was tried, no definite statement can be made. It was also fortunate in 
;ady market for its lumber and shingles on the Estate, although the whole 



product was not so disposed of. It was found advantageous to sell a portion of it to outside 
buyers at a slightly higher price. 

The preliminary study for the working plan was begun early in February, 1892, 
>ts and and actual cuttings followed in May. The following statement covers the year 

ses. from May 1, 1892, to April 30, 1893. But while it includes a year's expenses, 

the credit side of the account derives little berrefit from the work that was done 
before June 30, 1892. 

Receipts and Expenses of Biltmore Forest from May i, 1892, to April 30, 1893. 

EXPENSES. 

Salary of assistant forester, and wages of laborers in forest $4,677.29 

Labor of horses and mules 1,786.28 

Wages of sawyer and others operating saw and shingle mills 2,585.17 

Interest and deterioration on wagons and minor machinery (10 %) 46.13 

Interest and deterioration on saw-mill (10 %) 27.70 

Interest and deterioration on engine and boiler (10 %) 90.00 

Mill supplies and repairs 3 1 4.93 

Tools and repairs on same 219.81 

Office furniture and maintenance 1 64.45 

$9,911.76 
39 



RECEIPTS. 

From 706 railroad ties #151.40 

From 2,226% cords of wood 4,550.00 

From lumber 896.35 

From posts 9.36 

35,607.11 

STOCK ON HAND. 

Lumber at $8 to $25 per M $1,302.50 

Cord-wood, (ti> $1 and $1.25 a cord 2,344.00 

Shingles, (ft) $1.50 and #2.80 per M 246.00 

Telephone poles at 25c 19-75 

$3,912.25 

£9,51936 

ttalance $392.40 

*• The following is a partial list of prices paid and charged: 

Labor : Men, $0.90 to $1.00 per day. 
Mules, $0.75 per day. 

Products : ( >ak lumber, $8 to $25 per M. 
Pine lumber, $4 to $14 per M. 
Poplar lumber, mill run, $12 per M. 
Shingles, $1.50 to $2.80 per M. 
Cord-wood delivered on the cars, $2 per cord. 
Railroad ties, $0.30 each. 

40 



So far as can be judged at this early date, the improvement cuttings seem 
Effect of the to have accomplished what was expected of them. The appearance of the forest 

Improvement where they have passed is much improved, and the young trees which have been 

Cuttings. set free are doing well. But, although it is too early to pronounce definitely upon 

all their effects, two facts seem to have been established. These are, that large 
trees surrounded by a dense growth of smaller ones may be felled and removed with compara- 
tively very unimportant injury to the young crop, and that the additional cost of the 
necessary care, beyond that of ordinary destructive lumbering, is so small as to be out of all 
proportion to the result. If this latter fact should be established later on in other parts 
of the United States, as there seems little reason to doubt that it will be, its importance to 
the future success of forestry will be very great. Its value in practice is enormous. 



43 



VI. 

The treatment of Biltmore Forest must be somewhat influenced by the char- 
rest as a acter of the Estate as a country residence, with its gardens, farms, deer-park, 
the Estate, and roads carefully planned and planted. The forest management is conse- 
quently subject to occasional checks in cases where silvicultural measures would 
conflict somewhat with the immediate purpose of the landscape architect. These cases are 
fortunately rare, and the loss of interest in the forest management which they occasion is 
more than offset by the arboretum and forest planting experiments. 

The following sketch of the working plan after the improvement cuttings have 
: of the been finished is an outline rather than a definite scheme. A working plan should 

lg Plan. above all be elastic, and especially so in the present instance, where the results of 
the improvement cuttings and the future economic position of the Forest are not 
fully known. The general objects of forest management at Biltmore are three in number. 
The first is profitable production, which will give the Forest direct utility. If this were 
absent, the existence of the Forest would be justified only as it lends beauty and interest to 

44 



the Estate. Second, a nearly constant annual yield, which will give steady occupation to a 
trained force, allow a permanent organization, and make regular operations possible. Third, 
an improvement in the present very mediocre condition of the Forest, without which its 
future would be nearly hopeless. 

These general objects are to be attained by means of two systems of manage- 
Regular High ment. On the east side of the French Broad the Regular High Forest System 

Forest System. will be adopted, and the Selection System on the west side. In each case the 

rotation, or the length of time in which a second crop becomes ripe on the same 
ground after the removal of the first, was fixed at 1 50 years. In a theoretically perfect forest, 
under the Regular High Forest System, there would be as many sub -divisions as there were 
years in the rotation. The trees of each sub -division would be of equal age and would 
differ from those of the next sub -division by one year. In the present case, for instance, the 
oldest sub -division, bearing trees 150 years of age, would be ready for the axe; and the 
cutting, after passing over it, and then over all the others in succession, would reach it again 
at the end of 150 years. 

The Selection Forest in its perfect state has trees of all ages mixed together 
Selection System, everywhere instead of being separated into groups of uniform age. The annual 

yield is taken each year from all parts of the forest. But under such a method 
transportation would manifestly be too costly for American conditions. Consequently, the 
Localized Selection System was adopted in its place. Under it the annual yield comes from 

45 



a restricted portion during several years ; then from another portion during a like period, and 
so on until the cutting has passed over the whole Forest. In the present case the yield will 
come from one-fifth of the area during each period of five years. Consequently the cutting 
will return over the same land once in twenty-five years. 

The first step in preparing the Biltmore working plan was to divide the Forest 
rtments. into Compartments of an average of about forty-two acres each, numbered con- 
secutively from i to 92. This division was for convenience of reference, and in 
order to delimit land of approximately the same productive quality, on which, in the end, for- 
ests of the same kind and grade might be expected to grow. It also served to furnish an indis- 
pensable mode of reference to the different parts of the Forest. The lines on which these 
Compartments were made are natural ones, such as ridges, streams, and hollows, supple- 
mented in very many cases by the old wood-roads which cross the Forest in every direction. 

The Compartments were united into Blocks, one on the west and two on the 
»• east side of the French Broad River. The Block is the unit of management, and 

is treated largely by itself, almost as though it were a separate forest, and were so 
placed and organized as to stand alone. Cuttings will be made in each Block every year, with 
the result that the total cost of transportation from the nearer and more distant parts of the 
forest will tend always toward an average. For silvicultural reasons also Blocks are necessary 
in order to restrict the annual cuttings to smaller areas, and to reduce the dangers from 
insects and other enemies. 

46